Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Closer Look at the Normal Asil Arabian Hoof - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Dec 27, 2017

Recent study results indicate that Arabian horses are prone to developing equine metabolic syndrome and, subsequently, laminitis. But subtle hoof morphology changes usually happen before a horse becomes lame. So it’s useful to know the difference between what’s normal and not normal.

That’s why Iranian researchers decided to go back—way back—in the breed. Specifically, they turned to the “original” Arabian horse, what they call the “Asil Arabian.” Distinguished as the purest of purebred Arabians, the Asil, or Iranian, Arabian breed dates back 5,000 years. It was to this pure-origin breed that scientists turned when they decided to truly understand what’s “normal” Arabian foot morphology...

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'Flying horse' to be born in Argentina by 2019 - Full Article

Armed with genetically altered embryos, scientists all set to produce cloned 'Dolly' of horse

By Soorya Kiran NN
December 31, 2017 01:02 +08

Flying horse is limited to fairy tales or epics but soon a super jumper horse will be born with tweaks in its DNA being undertaken by an Argentine biotech firm, which has already achieved a breakthrough in cloning polo ponies.

These genetically engineered super horses will be faster, stronger and high and far jumpers as scientists were able to use a powerful DNA editing technique called 'Crispr' to redesign the genomes of cloned horses.

Crispr, the short form of 'clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats', is a technique where a hybrid of protein and ribonucleic acid (RNA) works as an efficient hunt-and-cut system. Pioneered by molecular biologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, the technique could work well in animals, including humans, to carry out genome editing.

The horse genome's 32 pairs of chromosomes, written in 2.7  billion base pairs of DNA, were sequenced and published in 2009 and now the team of scientists from Khairon Biotech, a specialist equine cloning facility in Buenos Aires, have successfully worked on boosting the myostatin gene sequence which is crucial to muscle development, endurance and galloping speed of the best breed of horse. Armed with healthy embryos already, they are planning to implant one into a surrogate mother within two years...

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Sport horses with genetic edits will be with us soon, say researchers - Full Article

December 28, 2017

A leading horse-cloning company has raised the prospect of using gene-editing to produce horses with superior athletic ability.

Argentina-based Kheiron Biotech says it has been able to produce genetically engineered embryos for the first time, using a gene-editing system known as CRISPR-Cas9.

The use of the technology would allow the creation of equine clones with improved genetic make-up, it said, and “accelerate genetic evolution in sports animals”.

The work was conducted by scientists from Kheiron working with the Fleni Foundation. Their findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Cloning And Stem Cells.

“This technology brings additional progress in horse breeding,” Kheiron founder Daniel Sammartino said. “It could be possible to achieve better horses in less time...


Equine Thermography - Full Article

By Joanna L. Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CVA, CSFT, CIT
Nov 25, 2017

Comparing parts left-to-right is key to interpreting images, with the horse as its own control.
Photo: Joanna L. Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CVA, CSFT, CIT

Thermography presents a noninvasive, safe, and cost-effective diagnostic imaging modality (on average, $350 for a whole horse scan and interpretation) that is a valuable complementary tool in equine health care. As with other technologies, we are seeing considerable advancements in thermographic cameras’ resolution and user-friendliness, along with significant decreases in physical size and initial purchase costs. As thermography gains popularity and interest, it is tremendously important that veterinarians, technicians, and horse owners understand the advantages this physiologic imaging tool offers, as well as its limitations.

The first step in understanding what thermography can and can’t do is learning the difference between anatomic and physiologic imaging...

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Heated Water Trough Safety - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Dec 25, 2017

Last week I shared with you several tips on how to keep your water troughs ice-free. Later that day I came across the following images and a story that I think we can all learn from.

When I’m taking a break between tasks I scroll through my Facebook feed to see what is going on in the world. This time of year it is filled with seasonal posts of peoples horses, barn parties, their families and, of course, cat videos. However last Monday I saw the image above. At first I couldn’t figure exactly what it was, but it was looked vaguely familiar and, at the same time, unrecognizable.

I read the accompanying post and did a double take. It was the image of a melted rubber water trough. Given the commentary I had just written and the fact that I had included trough heaters I wanted to know more. I had heard of horses being shocked drinking from toughs with electric heaters that are not correctly grounded, but I had never seen nor heard of a trough melting!

The trough belongs to Charish Arthur, a United States Dressage Federation silver medalist and former long-time American Riding Instructors Association certified instructor, who came home last Saturday evening every horse owner’s nightmare:...

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Study Confirms Common Shoeing Interval Benefits Horses - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Nov 15, 2017

If you’re shoeing every four to six weeks, science says you’re on the right track. According to recent study results, that historic four- to six-week interval aligns perfectly with what’s going on physiologically within the horse’s hoof.

“We might have known the ideal or optimum interval time between trimming and shoeing for a long time, but only more recently has science enabled us to better understand why,” said Kirsty Lesniak, SFHEA, PGCHE, MSc, BSc (Hons), a senior lecturer of equine science and equine postgraduate program manager at Hartpury College University Centre, in the U.K.

In their study, Lesniak and colleagues compared 17 hoof length and angle measurements from 26 predominantly stabled riding horses of mixed breed, age, and height. They took the measurements before and after farriery, following a four- to six-week period of growth since the last farrier treatment.

During that period, the hoof grew such that the angles began to change, which could negatively impact soundness, Lesniak said. If left untrimmed, that hoof growth and angle change could result in the heels and back of the hoof becoming loaded with too much weight. However, farriery work in this population of horses maintained healthy angles when performed within four to six weeks...

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Senate Calls for 'Politically Viable' Wild Horse Solutions - Full Article

By Pat Raia
Nov 27, 2017

The U.S. Senate's proposed spending bill for fiscal 2018 calls for the Department of the Interior (DOI) to explore “politically viable” options for maintaining wild horse herds under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) jurisdiction.

The legislation differs from a budget bill passed in July by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee that some wild horse advocates believe would ultimately allow the sale of unwanted mustangs for slaughter.

Released on Nov. 20 by the Senate's Appropriations Committee, the proposed $32.6 billion DOI fiscal 2018 budget allocates $1.23 billion for the BLM, $16 million below the enacted amount enacted for fiscal 2017.

The measure also contains a so-called explanatory statement from the Committee's chairman that calls for “a range of humane and politically viable options” to put the wild horse and burro program “on a path to sustainability...”

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Jaguar Health and Dubai-based Seed Mena Enter Collaboration Agreement for Equilevia, Jaguar’s Personalized, Premium Product for Total Gut Health and Wellness in Horses - Full Article

December 14, 2017 10:09 AM Eastern Standard Time

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jaguar Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAGX) (Jaguar), a natural-products pharmaceuticals company focused on developing and commercializing novel, sustainably derived gastrointestinal products for both human prescription use and animals on a global basis, announced today that it has entered into a collaboration agreement (the Agreement) with Seed Mena Businessmen Services LLC (SEED) for Equilevia™, Jaguar’s non-prescription, personalized, premium product for total gut health in equine athletes. Based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), SEED is affiliated with Seed Group, a diversified group of companies under the umbrella of The Private Office of His Royal Highness Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Maktoum establishing strategic partnerships with multinational companies from around the globe in an aim to leverage Seed Group’s network to support potential business expansion in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

Equilevia™ contains ingredients isolated and purified from the medicinal Croton lechleri tree, which is sustainably harvested from the rainforest. Equilevia™ acts locally in the gut. Gut health is of critical importance in competitive horses, as conditions such as ulcers can meaningfully impair equine athlete performance, and colic can lead to the death of an otherwise healthy horse in a matter of hours. According to a third-party 2005 study, as many as 55% of performance horses have both colonic and gastric ulcers, and 97% of performance horses have either a gastric (87%) or a colonic (63%) ulcer.1

“In the Gulf economies, the traditional hobbies of local populations have become widespread activities—and nowhere is this more true than for horses, an age-old passion of the region’s Bedouin tribes. The modernization of the competitive equine industry in the UAE has mirrored the development of the nation, and the country has become a global leader in horse racing, equine endurance competitions, and other equine athletic activities,” commented Mohammed Al Banna, Senior Director, International Ventures at Seed Group. “We look forward to capitalizing on SEED’s network and contacts in the private and public sector in the UAE as part of our strategic partnership with Jaguar to drive improved gut health management in these exquisite athletes through Equilevia™ awareness and sales in the region...”

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Study: Some Endurance Horses Lacking in Lameness Care - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Dec 13, 2017

Lameness is the No. 1 health issue affecting endurance horses across England and Wales. But recent study results suggest that nearly half of those lameness cases are never treated by a veterinarian.

“If an endurance horse goes lame, owners should get the lameness investigated as soon as possible to allow timely diagnosis, targeted treatment, and hopefully earlier return to work,” said Annamaria Nagy, DrMedVet, PhD, Dipl. ACVSMR, FRCVS, of the Animal Health Trust (AHT) Centre for Equine Studies, in Newmarket, U.K.

Nagy worked with fellow researchers Sue Dyson, MA, Vet MB, PhD, DEO, FRCVS, head of clinical orthopedics at the AHT, and Jane K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD, of the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Science. They reviewed questionnaires completed by endurance riders about veterinary problems. Results showed that 80% of the 190 horses ridden by the respondents had a lameness issue affect their endurance career. More than half had been lame within the last year...

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Beating Botulism in Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · October 16, 2017

Botulism, the bad boy of the equine toxin world, can kill horses and foals swiftly. As one of the most potent toxins known to affect horses (yes, even more toxic than snake and spider venom, arsenic, and mercury), botulism causes death almost undoubtedly unless affected animals receive the botulism endotoxin and aggressive supportive care. Want to do everything possible to prevent botulism and safeguard your steeds? Review this list to learn how, bearing in mind most of this particular article refers to forage poisoning rather than the less common shaker foal syndrome and wound contamination.

Feed and forage selection. Many cases of botulism occur after ingestion of the toxin from feed. The bacterium Clostridium botulinum (from decomposing small animal carcasses trapped in hay bales, for example) produces toxins, labeled A through H, which horses may ingest. Type B botulism occurs most frequently in adult horses, but horses and foals can also suffer from types A and C.

“Following ingestion, the toxin quickly blocks the junction between nerves and muscle. As a result, horses rapidly lose the ability to swallow, stand, and void their urinary bladder,” explained Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a Kentucky Equine Research (KER) nutritionist...

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Endurance and Conscious Competence (Updated 12/07/2017!) - Full Article

by Patti Stedman | Nov 19, 2014

[Update added 12/07/2017 —

I wrote this blog just a bit over three years ago, after teaching and co-teaching a series of Endurance 101 and Beyond the Basics Clinics all over the Northeast Region. Dinah Rojek — who graciously hosted and co-taught one of the clinics — and I had a long discussion on this topic over a cup of tea, or maybe it was a glass of red wine. I recall sharing both! Since we’re both teachers, we are fascinated with the psychology of learning. That’s what inspired this blog.

Since that time, we developed Endurance Essentials, a web-based version of the Endurance 101 Clinic, which is both basic and deceptively complex, breaking down complicated concepts into simple building blocks. The learners who have tested and taken the course have given it rave reviews. However, it has not been the tremendous hit we had hoped it would be, not in terms of sign ups, although if you counted Facebook “likes” we would be a best seller.

I’m somewhat perplexed as to why, but as one very successful business man and endurance rider told me when I shared with him our plans for — “I think it’s a great idea, Patti, but never forget that horsepeople are incredibly thrifty, particularly when it comes to spending on education.” So I was forewarned.

Still, for us this is a Passion Project, and most of the cost investment (outside of the LMS and software and insurance and such) is time time time. So we spend it as we have it...

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

US Compounding, a Subsidiary of Adamis Pharmaceuticals, Develops a Unique Compound to Manage Ulcers in Horses - Full Article

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:ADMP) (“Adamis”) today announced that its subsidiary, US Compounding, has developed a unique compound to manage ulcers in horses. Ulcers are common in the majority of horses that are subject to stress. Examples of horses under stress include race horses, endurance horses, dressage horses, hunters, jumpers, 3-day eventers and any type of rodeo horse. In general, horses that are in active training tend to have a prevalence of ulcers in the range of 90 to 95%. Historically, ulcers have been known to negatively affect feeding habits and performance on the track.

A study, utilizing US Compounding’s unique drug formulation, was conducted in approximately 50 race horses. Gastric endoscopy was performed at day 0 and any time between days 14 and 21. Drug was administered after the first endoscopy as a paste given orally for 30 days. Endoscopic improvement was seen as early as 14 days. In greater than 95% of the horses the ulcers were shown to be clinically healed, as confirmed by endoscopy, with a reduction in gastric ulcer recovery times. A patent application covering this unique compounded product has been filed by the Company. In addition, a manuscript is in preparation...

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Monday, December 04, 2017

Pride, Passion and Palestinian Horses - Listen to the report

2 December 2017

In the West Bank hundreds of families share a passion for breeding horses. Amid the narrow streets and cramped apartment buildings small stables can be found with owners grooming beautiful Arabian colts and fillies. These new breeders are now making their mark at Israeli horse shows where competition to produce the best in breed is intense. As Palestinian and Israeli owners mingle on the show ground, political differences are put to one side as they share a passion for the Arabian horse.

For Assignment, Linda Pressly follows one Palestinian owner and his colt as they navigate their way through Israeli checkpoints to the next big event in the Israeli Kibbutz of Alonim. Winning best in show is the plan but will they even get there?

Estelle Doyle producing


Alfalfa: When Is It the Right Choice for Horses? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 14, 2014

When the word “alfalfa” is bandied about among horsemen, most immediately think of high-quality forage, a vividly green, sweet-smelling, leafy legume. Like all forages, though, not all alfalfa (lucerne) is grown, cured, or harvested identically, which makes the hay’s ultimate quality variable.

Differences in growing conditions and harvesting methods impact nutritional quality. Alfalfa hay can be off-colored, dusty, moldy, or weed-ridden, just as any grass hay might be. Therefore, it important to carefully evaluate any alfalfa hay intended for horses. If you are uncomfortable with this task, drag along an experienced hay buyer when it comes time to fill the hay-mow.

Most people can distinguish high-quality hay because its color is often bright and the smell is sweet and pure. An experienced cohort will help you choose between alfalfa that is likely rich in energy and nutrients, and alfalfa that is inferior in one way or another. Word of caution: do not let color be the only determining factor. Alfalfa hay does not need to be fluorescent green to be appropriate for horses. Good-quality hay comes in all shades of green. Forage testing by an accredited laboratory can reveal the nutrient composition of the forage and is the best measure of adequacy for horses.

Which horses benefit most from the inclusion of alfalfa hay in their diets?...

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

Are You Riding a Lame Horse? - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Nov 20, 2017

Would you knowingly ride a lame horse? Few people would, yet in a recent study, scientists found that nearly three-fourths of study horses had significant motion asymmetry, confirmed by motion analysis. Every one of those horses was being ridden regularly. And according to their owners, they were sound.

“It’s important to educate riders and trainers in visual lameness assessment to detect changes in their horses´ motion symmetry (early),” said Marie Rhodin, PhD, of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala...

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A Window Into Your Horse's Sole - Full Article

By Heather Smith Thomas
Nov 29, 2017

If you're lucky, your horse has been blessed with thick soles; if not, here's how to manage his feet to help keep him sound.

A thick, strong sole on a horse’s foot lays the foundation for soundness. Too-thin soles can’t support the structures above them, potentially leading to hoof wall flares, distortions, and imbalances. These horses are also more likely to have poor hoof conformation and are more susceptible to bruising, tenderness, and even navicular issues and arthritis. And if they do develop a hoof condition, particularly one as serious as laminitis, they’re usually more challenging to ­rehabilitate.

In this article two veterinarians and a farrier will describe sole quality and management methods...

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Saturday, December 02, 2017

Back Country Horsemen of America Makes Christmas Wishes Come True

December 1 2017
by Sarah Wynne Jackson

As one of the largest contributors of volunteer trail service in the nation, it seems that Back Country Horsemen of America members have earned a breather for the holidays. But these folks know that not everyone can afford a happy Christmas. They partner with businesses and charity organizations in their area to make the season bright in their own, friendly Back Country Horsemen way.

Horses Only!

The Northwest Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of New Mexico participates in the Corrales Christmas de Los Caballos Toys for Tots Parade. This equines-only event in the village of Corrales collects food and toys for Marines to give to local families who might otherwise go without at Christmastime. The parade typically features close to 100 horses, including some pulling carriages. To the delight of spectators, horses and riders dress in festive seasonal costumes.

People and Pets

Members of the Squaw Butte Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Idaho bring food donations to their annual Christmas party. Last year, chapter members brought so much that they delivered 259 pounds of food items to the Emmett Valley Friendship Coalition. The EVFC services Gem County residents by providing a weekly dinner, a food pantry, and Christmas Cheer food baskets and toy distribution.

Because most horse lovers are also pet lovers, the Squaw Butte Chapter also donated 150 pounds of pet food and supplies to the Pet Adoption League of Gem County. PAL’s promotes responsible pet ownership through education, helps return lost pets to their owners, and finds loving homes for pets that have none.

Right to Ride Representatives

The Front Range Back Country Horsemen Chapter of Colorado works throughout the seasons with the US Forest Service on various trail projects. The highlight of their year is performing ambassador patrol to families cutting their Christ­mas trees in an area near Buffalo Creek with a Forest Service permit. Chapter members dress themselves and their horses in holiday gear and ride around offering assistance with the family’s chosen tree.

The families love seeing the horses, and parents snap endless photos while the children reach out to touch the horses. Some of the children have never seen a horse in real life before. One year, a boy in a wheelchair asked to pat the horses, and his evident joy at doing that melted every member’s heart.

Fighting Hunger

The Redwood Unit of Back Country Horsemen of California partners with Food for People for the Cowboy Canned Food Convoy as part of the Hunger Fighter Chal­lenge in Eureka. One year they donated nearly 450 pounds of food, and last year 63,000 cans were donated. This event, now in its 11th year, is organized by the Redwood Unit and very popular with the public.

Share Your Christmas

Every year, the High Sierra Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Nevada participates in Share Your Christmas Food Drive, hosted by their local Channel 2 TV station. Members bring a non-perishable food item to every monthly chapter meeting throughout the year, and bring even more donations to their chapter Christmas party.

They typically donate several hundred pounds of food and always deliver it by pack string. A reporter from Channel 2 rides with the chapter on horseback and interviews members. The public loves seeing the horses, and children and adults alike always want their photos taken with them. Not only does this get food onto empty dinner tables, it’s a great way to educate folks about horses and the mission of Back Country Horsemen of America.

Give a Gift that Supports the Cause

If you’re looking for a unique gift that supports a valuable cause, take a look at BCHA’s logo merchandise. From, under the Resources tab, click Country Store. You’ll find the perfect gift for someone who has everything, including men’s and women’s denim shirts, water bottles, insulated lunch boxes, ball caps, safety vests, and even patches to add to your own clothing… all emblazoned with the recognizable logo of this highly respected service organization.

You can even buy someone special a gift membership or give a gift to BCHA in their name. At, look under the Get Involved tab to learn how.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

Back Country Horsemen of America wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season filled with peace.

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write 342 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06117. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Duvall traveler returns from five month journey across Mongolia - Full Story

By Evan Pappas
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Not everyone has the urge to go on a months-long trips to different countries, but one local traveler did just that earlier this year.

Duvall’s Lynnea Zuniga recently returned from a five-month journey into and across Mongolia. She made it through several landscapes and provinces in the country, all between May and September.

A trip like that was made possible through experience. This wasn’t her first long-term, long-distance travel. Zuniga said she grew up adventuring in the back woods of Duvall, dirt biking and horse riding. Being so close to the outdoors and away from some of the larger urban areas informed her personal interests when she went to Northwest University where she studied environmental science, international development and sustainable agriculture.

When she was 17, Zuniga went on her first trip to the island of New Guinea, where she lived with two native tribes. A few years later she completed a solo bike tour from Hungary to Germany and Switzerland. Her experience travelling inspired her to keep finding new places. Traveling to Mongolia, however, was recommended to her by a friend.

“One of my good friends said in passing ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to ride a horse across Mongolia?’ and from that instant I knew that I was going to do it some day,” she said.

In 2015, she began research and preparation into traveling Mongolia, and used the time to save up some money to fund her trip. In her research she came across a subculture of long-distance equestrian exploration, The Long Riders’ Guild. The group provided her with resources and access to other riders who had done similar trips across the country. After asking questions and finishing her research, Zuniga left for Mongolia in May...

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Got Bots? - Full Article

by Les Sellnow
Oct 10, 2017

Bots are pesky creatures, capable of causing irritation and physical damage to horses. They aren't categorized as being the worst of internal parasites, but they can cause problems externally and internally.

The external aspect is primarily one of irritation to the horse. The botfly is about the size of a honeybee, and its prime purpose in life is to lay eggs on the hairs of equine legs, necks, faces, and other parts of the anatomy.

And although we will talk later about "deworming" as a weapon against these parasites, they are not really worms, such as ascarids and strongyles. Instead they are flies, and like other flies their life cycle involves four distinct stages—egg, larva, pupa, and adult fly.

As is the case with other parasites, bots need a host to carry out their life cycle. They are specialists, in that they only attack horses, mules, and donkeys—perhaps zebras as well—and do not seek to use cattle or other livestock as hosts.

When attacking equids, the botfly is a pest supreme. Botflies generally lay only one egg at a time, but depending on the species, one female is capable of depositing 150 to 500 eggs...

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

South Africa: Horse Riding on the Wild Coast - Full Article

January 19, 2017

Words: Grant Hollins. Images: Julie-Anne Gower.

Wild Coast Horseback Adventures has been offering horse riding trails along the Eastern Cape’s spectacular eastern coast for more than a decade and is listed as one of the top beach riding destinations in the world. Grant Hollins went to Kei Mouth to meet with owner Julie-Anne Gower to find out more.

The Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast, which stretches some 280km from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south, has a rich history of adventure and is renowned for its rugged beauty. It forms the coastal heartland of the Xhosa people whose cattle often roam unattended along vacant beaches or graze on grass covered hilltops with cliff faces that plummet directly into the ocean. Notorious in the seafaring community as one of the world’s most treacherous stretches of coastline, the region is home to numerous shipwrecks and with about half of the area comprised of indigenous forest, it supports a myriad of fauna and flora. This largely untouched coast is also interspersed with quaint hotels, which make it an ideal destination for nature-loving, adventure-minded travellers to visit...

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Fantastic Tips for Endurance Riding - Full Article & videos

Endurance riders have a great many Endurance Riding events to choose from, each with its own particular set of challenges. Many riders learn the ropes via their local Endurance GB, ILDRA or SERC group or similar clubs overseas. With respect, but novices don’t always get advice from the most accomplished riders. This page aims to help you to several fantastic tips for Endurance Riding which make Endurance Riding more enjoyable and successful for you and your horse. These videos feature Sally Toye and her horse Emira Bint Letifa. Kindly note that the number of videos in this page will grow, we have lots more tips for you! Like our facebook page so you won’t miss out on the next video tip. Aloeride is very proud to sponsor Sally Toye who is a very experienced and successful Endurance rider both in the UK, Ireland and the US. She also qualified for the 2017 Mongol Derby.

Tip 1 for Endurance Riding: Sponge


Read/see more at:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Oops! My Horse Stumbles! - Full Article

Stumbling in horses is serious business. Here's advice from a veterinarian and a trainer on dealing with this dangerous problem.


Your horse suddenly pitches forward and drops out from under you. For a split second, his balance and yours teeter on the brink. Few things are more alarming than a horse stumbling, even for an experienced rider: Will he go down and take you with him?

Horses usually manage to stay upright when they trip, and (after you catch your breath) it's tempting to quickly laugh these incidents off. Even when a horse stumbles repeatedly, you'll hear people dismiss it: "He's just lazy," or "That's just him."

Yet it takes only one misstep for Twinkletoes to go down and flip over, with results that we'd all rather not contemplate. But let's, briefly, contemplate them: You could be killed. So could your horse.

This is a problem you can't ignore.

Stumbling in horses can be a training issue, but it can also have physical causes. We asked equine veterinarian Duncan Peters of Lexington, Kentucky, to explain those causes and what you can do to correct them. For the training angle, we went to longtime Massachusetts eventer Mark Weissbecker...

Read more here:

Four Ways to Save Your Life - Full Article

As published in The Northwest Horse Source, November 2017 edition.

My summer of trail rides and horse camping was wonderful. Until it wasn’t.

You might have heard that I took a tumble recently. It’s true. I was riding in the Three Sisters Wilderness in central Oregon when I joined the unplanned dismount club. Although I don’t remember all of it, I got to visit the hospital ER, met some great doctors, toured the surgery, and now I have a shiny new shoulder! Fun times.

I can’t tell you with certainty what went wrong, although I think it was bees. One moment I was in the saddle taking pictures and the next my head was impacting a tree followed by proof that Newton’s law of gravity is true. As I’m finding that narcotic-fueled dreams are anything but pleasant, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder what went right during my misadventure....

Read more here:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fat Options to Help Your Horse Hold Weight During the Winter - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Nov 13, 2017

What is the best use of fats to help horses maintain weight during the cooler winter months?

Julie , Hawaii

A. Fat sources are often used for weight gain because they’re significantly more calorie-dense than carbohydrates. There are numerous products that can add fat to a horse’s diet, including:

• High-fat commercial performance feeds, which typically have 10-13% crude fat and when fed correctly provide all the necessary vitamins and minerals to complement the forage in the ration;
• High-fat feeds, such as rice bran (which contains approximately 18% fat and might or might not have added vitamin E, calcium, and other minerals) or flax seeds (which might have up to 40% fat content);
• Fat supplements either in feed form—which might have as much as 30% crude fat—or a dried vegetable oil at 90% fat; and
• Oils, which include everything from common vegetable oils such as canola oil to less well-known vegetable oils such as camelina. Fish oil is even an option.

But First…

Before you reach for your preferred fat source, though, first try to determine why your horse isn’t maintaining weight...

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Back Country Horsemen of America Cares for the Front Country Gems Outside Your Back Door

November 11 2017

by Sarah Wynne Jackson

Back Country Horsemen of America formed over 40 years ago to protect our right to ride horses on public lands. The original founders cherished the wide swaths of wild land that encompass hundreds of thousands of acres with trails inaccessible to nearly anything but those on foot or hoof. Today, we still treasure those vast areas, but we also highly value the smaller public lands nestled between cities and highways, the few hundreds or thousands of acres that give us a respite from our busy daily life.

These front country gems may not sit on mountaintops where the worst of weather pulls down trees and washes out trail treads, but they still need consistent maintenance due to the heavy use we give them. In fact, this is a strong argument for creating more local public lands. Easy accessibility to the few that we have attracts recreationists of every kind, including hikers, dog walkers, bicyclists, equestrians, and more, in numbers higher than most lands can sustain. Instead of limiting use at individual public lands, creating more recreation opportunities would spread our use across more lands.

Back Country Horsemen chapters across the nation carefully plan their resources to attend to the places with the highest needs and the heaviest use first. At least once yearly, the Olympic Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington reviews its work budget to determine where its effort is most badly needed. Members realized that they tend to return to Green Mountain Horse Camp in Green Mountain State Forest several times each year to repeatedly perform the same repairs. To reduce this inefficient use of their limited time, the chapter decided to overhaul the horse corrals, the biggest maintenance need in the camp.

A Big Job

The land surrounding the popular corrals collected rainwater, making the corral area muddy and difficult for campers to clean, and the wood rails had rotted from exposure to the elements. To overhaul the corrals, the Olympic Chapter drew on the skill within their membership: landscape designer Brian Sundberg created the plan, former Chapter President Jim Davis served as liaison and procured materials, past BCHA Chair Jim Murphy wrote up the specifications, and other chapter members provided tools, equipment (including a Bobcat), hard work, and rations.

Chapter volunteers began by removing all the soft and rotten posts and rails. To reduce the level of maintenance required after renovation, they hardened the corral footing, which would allow water to drain away while providing a firm surface that would be easier to keep clean. After excavating the 100-foot-by-30-foot footprint of the corral area about 8 inches deep, they installed a drainpipe system to carry water away from the camp, then filled in the area with crushed rock. They then installed corral posts and rails, using pressure treated and metal materials for durability.

An Expensive Job

Anyone who has done landscaping or similar construction knows that these materials aren’t cheap, making a project like this pricey, even when the labor is free. Including over $6000 for footing materials, nearly $2000 for weather-durable gates and posts, and over $500 for heavy equipment fuel along with other miscellaneous costs, the final price tag came to almost $10,000 for the sixteen 12-foot-by-12-foot corrals.

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) donated the pressure treated posts and rails, but the rest of the cost was carried by the Olympic Chapter Back Country Horsemen. How did they do it? They organize the Western Dream Ride at a dude ranch in the stunning Cascade Mountains. Horse lovers spend three days living in rustic ranch cabins, eating authentic back country meals, and riding amazing trails. The Olympic Back Country Horsemen also provide western style entertainment, Cowboy Church, a silent auction, and even a swimming pool.

Offering this well-loved event to up to 130 riders every year takes the full commitment of the entire chapter, but participants and volunteers know that it makes funds available to perform maintenance and improvements to trails, trailheads, and camps in Green Mountain State Forest.

A Job Worth Every Effort

Although northwest Washington boasts many horse trails that traverse its awe-inspiring mountains, riders still enjoy front country trails for day rides and when mountain trails are closed. Managed by the state DNR, Green Mountain State Forest is an undeveloped working land that provides habitat for native plants and animals, water retention, and water quality benefits. Its 6,000 acres provide diverse recreation opportunities to more than 150,000 people each year.

The Olympic Chapter has a volunteer contract with the DNR to maintain the trails and the horse camp. As part of the contract, the chapter also provides a friendly Camp Host at the horse camp on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

When recreational trail riders started using the horse corrals renovated by the Olympic Chapter Back Country Horsemen, compliments and rave reviews began coming in. People love the new corrals as well as the minor repairs and grooming the chapter completed on the 17 camp sites.

About Back Country Horsemen of America

BCHA is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands.

If you want to know more about Back Country Horsemen of America or become a member, visit their website:; call 888-893-5161; or write 342 North Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06117. The future of horse use on public lands is in our hands!

Innovative wheelbarrow seat could help horsey parents - Full Article

Rachael Turner
15:55 - 12 November, 2017

An endurance rider and her husband have developed an innovative way of keeping toddlers safe and involved at the yard.

Gloucestershire-based Adam Farley thought up the idea last October when he was looking after his then 18-month-old son Ollie while his wife Rachael Claridge was in Australia.

Adam was kept busy looking after the family’s four horses and two dogs, as well as working full-time.

“He was thinking of a way to keep our toddler safe,” Rachael told H&H.

“He bought a bucket, cut a couple of holes in it, fixed it to the wheelbarrow and stuck Ollie in it.


MT. BIKERS vs EQUESTRIANS: An explanation of horses to bikers – written by a biker - Full Article

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

You have all heard me rant about bikers that seem to have no regard for equestrians.

I’ve had an accident caused by a biker and many near misses since we live in a hilly and curvy landscape… Hilly and curvy makes for great riding and also many blind and speedy corners.



I know that I always thank cyclist who are kind towards equestrians. But, what do you say to those who aren’t respectful?

Usually, I yell something like, “It wouldn’t be funny if this was your kid on board!”… but they’re so far down the trail they never hear me.

So, when I saw this posted on our Equestrian board today, I thought some of you out there might find this handy if you get the chance to offer a cyclist’s explanation to other cyclists about equine safely.
The Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers, an International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) affiliate, has posted information for mt. bikers on their shared trails that is thoughtful and informed. Please share with other horse and bike groups and with your friends who mountain bike so they can understand how to keep everyone safe on our multi-use trails:

Getting on with Equestrians...

Read more here:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dangers of Overtraining - Full Article

It’s important to keep your horse fit, but overdoing it can cause problems.

By Nancy S. Loving, DVM | August 7, 2017

You’ve been working hard on getting your horse into peak condition for the competitive season and have been taking him to multiple competitions. In the early part of the summer, everything was going fine, but now you’re noticing that he isn’t putting out as much effort as usual under saddle and seems irritable and less cooperative. He doesn’t seem as interested in food or in goings-on in his surroundings. These are all signs of overtraining.

Signs of Fatigue

In any equine sport, accumulated stress of training and competition can lead to fatigue if overdone. Whether your horse is trained in eventing, dressage, competitive trail, endurance, polo, or western performance sports, the signs of chronic fatigue will be similar to those displayed by an over-trained racehorse. However, horses engaged in performance and sport horse activities are more likely to experience a less severe syndrome called "overreaching.”

The key difference is that a horse that is overreached recovers within days or, at most, a two-week period when given time to rest. In contrast, the horse that is chronically overtrained in high-intensity exercise like racing is one that may not recover for months or even years due to extreme stresses on his physiology; in some cases, the consequences may be career ending...

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Friday, November 10, 2017

Giving to Honor Human and Equine Veterans - Full Article

by Glenye Oakford | Nov 7, 2017, 3:00 PM EST

The military and horses have a long shared history, starting with their partnership on the battlefield. Today, there’s still a deep connection through a number of charities. In advance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, we highlight two that bring horses and veterans together and one that honors equines’ military service while supporting today’s working horses, donkeys, and mules.

The Man o’ War Project

The Man o’ War Project presented the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the $50,000 International Speed Class during the Washington International Horse Show’s Military Night on Oct. 27. The Man o’ War Project is supporting the first clinical research study in partnership with Columbia University to determine equine-assisted therapy’s effectiveness for post-traumatic stress disorder and to establish guidelines for using equine-assisted therapy to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress. In the course of equine-assisted therapy, a horse specialist and a mental health professional assist veterans in drawing connections between what the horses might be doing, thinking, or feeling, and their own symptoms. As they increase emotional awareness and the ability to regulate their emotions, they relearn how to build trust and how to trust themselves, keys to success in family, work, and interpersonal relationships...

Read more here:

Monday, November 06, 2017

National Equine Health Plan Published

October 31, 2017

Valuable resource will help curtail risk of disease spread

The American Horse Council (AHC), in conjunction with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state animal health officials, is pleased to announce that the National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) is now available at

“The horse industry is unique because horses are transported with more frequency than other livestock. We have seen firsthand how disease outbreaks cost the industry millions of dollars for the care of sick horses, implementation of biosecurity, and lost revenue in the form of cancelled or restricted commercial equine activities such as horseshows,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “Back in 2013, the industry felt it was time to step up and address the issue of the handling of disease outbreaks and the dissemination of information surrounding the outbreaks. This gave way to the creation of the NEHP that will outline the issues surrounding the prevention, diagnosis and control of diseases and the responsibilities and roles of the federal and state authorities and the industry.”

The goals of the NEHP are to protect the health and welfare of the U.S. equine population, facilitate the continued interstate and international movement of horses and their products, ensure the availability of regulatory services, and protect the economic continuity of business in the equine industry.

The NEHP also functions as a roadmap for coordinating horse owners and industry organizations with veterinarians and state and federal animal health officials to prevent, recognize, control and respond to diseases and environmental disasters. The plan facilitates horse industry preparedness, effective rapid communication, and owner education, which make up the foundation for preventing diseases and disease spread. Links to information and resources are included in the NEHP document, including a list of “Roles and Responsibilities” for all stakeholders in the industry.

“The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) is a key element of the NEHP and provides critical communication of information during disease outbreaks,” said EDCC Director Dr. Nat White. “Additionally, provides information about diseases, vaccination, biosecurity, state health regulations, state animal health official contact information and links to USDA-APHIS veterinary services. By integrating the roles of regulatory agencies with industry stakeholders, equine health and welfare are improved.”

The NEHP provides immediate access to resources and communications needed to optimize disease mitigation and prevention. It serves as a guide for regulations and responses needed to mitigate and prevent infectious diseases. The AHC and the AAEP encourage sharing this document as it will help educate horse owners about how veterinarians and state and federal officials work together to decrease the risk of disease spread.

If you have any questions about the NEHP or the EDCC, please contact Dr. Nat White at or Cliff Williamson, Director of Health & Regulatory Affairs at the AHC at

Friday, November 03, 2017

Aloe Vera vs. Omeprazole for Equine Gastric Ulcer Treatment - Full Article

By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Oct 31, 2017

Check the supplement stash at any performance stable, and you are likely to find a bottle of aloe vera juice, which some horse owners reach for to prevent or treat ulcers. But is it effective? To shed some light on this practice, a team of researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, conducted a randomized, blinded clinical trial comparing the efficacy of aloe vera inner leaf gel to omeprazole for treating equine gastric ulcer syndrome, the first study of its kind.

The team studied 40 horses with Grade 2 or higher ulcer lesions (confirmed via gastroscopy) in the upper portion (squamous) and/or lower portion (glandular) of the stomach, randomly assigning them to one of two groups. One group received 17.6 mg/kg body weight of aloe vera inner leaf gel twice daily (a dose they settled on using data from similar studies performed in rats), while the other group received 4 mg/kg body weight omeprazole once daily. After four weeks of treatment, the team performed a repeat gastroscopy. Horses with persistent ulceration received a course of omeprazole and were re-examined after four weeks.

The team found that while horses treated with aloe vera leaf gel did show squamous lesion improvement, those on the omeprazole regimen showed greater improvements overall...

Read more here:

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Heritable Heart Traits Can Help Endurance Horses Succeed - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Nov 1, 2017

When it comes to breeding good endurance horses, many traits aren’t heritable or have little to do with performance. But French researchers said one feature does matter: the heart.

“An ‘athletic’ heart is a heritable characteristic that’s favorable for performance in endurance,” said Céline Robert, PhD, DVM, professor and researcher at the National Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort and researcher at the French National Agricultural Research Institute in Jouy-en-Josas, France.

Unlike Thoroughbred racehorses, Arabian and Arabian-cross endurance horses start training at around age 4 or 5 and reach high-level (160-kilometer) races starting at about 8 years old. “If you have to invest eight years of training and maintenance into a horse before you know if you’ve got a champion, you want to be sure you’re starting off with the right horse,” Robert said.

But success doesn’t always pass down through the genes. That’s why Roberts and her fellow researchers set out to determine what genetic factors affect performance and how heritable they are.

They found that most measurable traits—whether related to morphology, gaits, or cardiology—have little to do with success on endurance rides. And that’s consistent with her 2014 findings, which were limited to morphology alone.

“Few traits are related to performance, and few of those have strong heritability,” she said.

However, several heart parameters did appear to affect performance and were also more or less heritable. The most significant were related to the size of the left ventricle and the volume of blood ejection...

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

India: All the Pretty Marwari Horses - Full Article

At the Haryana Swaran Jayanti indigenous horse show, they dazzled and charmed viewers with their manoeuvres, speed and style

The Marwari horse was the star at the Haryana Swaran Jayanti indigenous horse show, conducted by the Equestrian Sports Academy in Gurgaon which is a part of the Haryana Equestrian Sports Association.

Located next to Sohna Road, Bhondsi, Gurgaon, the NGP Horse Show Ground saw these indigenous beauties participate in various competitions, such as the dance, the rawal gait and flat race, on Sunday.

Use of whip and metal bits were prohibited. In fact, as HESA secretary general Col RS Ahluwalia (retd) said, this was the first time a show of indigenous horses was organized in accordance with all rules pertaining to avoidance of cruelty to animals...

Read more here:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Saving Horses From the Northern California Wildfires - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD Oct 17, 2017

Sunday, Oct. 8, Santa Rosa Junior College animal science instructor Amy Housman did something unusual for her: She put her phone on “Do Not Disturb” to enjoy a quiet evening away from her electronics.

“When I turned it on Monday morning, I had 15 texts that read from, ‘Are you okay?’ to ‘I’m out!’ ‘Hope you are up and aware.’ And, finally, one that simply said, ‘Fire,’” she says. “I walked to the front door, looked outside, and it looked like the eastern horizon was on fire. All of it.”

Then came the text that said: “We’re evacuating the barn.”

“I threw on my clothes and ran,” she recalls. “Driving to the barn was a blur, I couldn’t make a phone call, there was no internet, and the radio was saying Kmart was on fire. The only thing that made sense to my sleep-logged brain was terrorism. How could there be fire to the east and west of me? At that point, I realized I had no idea what was on fire, how I could get to the barn, and that I had also left my cat and house with no idea if they were in danger.”

On the morning of Oct. 9, the Tubbs fire spread quickly through Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, and had already devastated homes, reportedly traveling 12 miles in its first three hours. By day’s end hundreds of homes and businesses in the city would be destroyed and tens of thousands of people evacuated. As of Oct. 12, this fire alone had burned an estimated 2,834 homes and firefighters had it less than 40% contained...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

DMSO (don’t you know) - Full Article

osted on September 1, 2017 by Doctor Ramey in Drugs and Medications, General Information, Lameness, Lameness Therapeutics, Medicine
DMSO is the much quicker and easier way to say, “Dimethyl sulfoxide.” About that, pretty much everyone agrees. It goes downhill from there.

Although it was first synthesized way back in 1866 by a Russian scientist, DMSO first started being touted in medicine in the 1960s, I remember first hearing about DMSO in the 1970s. In fact, I remember hearing about it on a “60 Minutes” program, on a Sunday evening. Here’s the introduction, featuring the late, great Mike Wallace.


QUICK ASIDE: This whole DMSO thing had a bit of a culty feel to it. There were charges about the “medical establishment” keeping DMSO under wraps, of wanting to suppress a miracle cure, and that sort of thing. That was about 50 years ago, and now you can pick it up at tack stores. In what may not come as a great surprise, Jacob Lab still sells the stuff, too. (Dr. Jacob passed away in 2015, at the age of 91.)

I recall being swept up in all of this enthusiasm. In fact, as a student, I – apparently much less worried about nuances such as science and proof – was fairly certain that all of my teachers in veterinary school had missed the boat when it came to treating tendon injuries in horses. All I thought you had to do was rub DMSO on them, and, “poof,” the inflammation in the tendon would be gone and the tendon would be better. Naivete is a wonderful thing when it comes to promoting therapies.


DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide, which is also the last time that I am going to type this out) comes from a substance found in wood. It’s a by-product of paper making. DMSO is an organic compound – that is, it contains carbon – that also contains sulfur. It’s colorless, but definitely not odorless. It’s been used as a solvent since the mid-19th century, and it can dissolve many other substances: in the case of DMSO, a whole lot of other substances, such as herbicides, fungicides, plant hormones, and even some antibiotics. It also mixes well with many other substances, which is one reason why it gets mixed into so many substances.


Two things, mostly. First, since sometime in the mid-20th century, researchers have explored its use as an anti-inflammatory agent. It’s also sometimes used to try to increase the body’s absorption of other medications. Which means:

1. People slap the stuff into or onto horses that have any condition of which inflammation can be a component (which are many), and,
2. People frequently mix the stuff with other medications in hopes that you can get more medicine into the horse, particularly when those medicines are applied to the skin...

Read more here:

Friday, October 20, 2017

New Zealand: Those Arabian Days Stories

2 October 2017
Story, photos and video by Kendall Szumilas

I went across the world, on my own, to live with a stranger I’ve never met.

I’ve always been curious of what lies outside my little town in Maine, and this sense of curiosity led me to another quiet town on the South Island of New Zealand, Gore.

Another fact about myself is that I enjoy saving money. Yes, I know, this trait is a hard one to stay loyal to, especially when working with horses.

However, I found ways. I found out about a program called WWOOFing. The acronym stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. I could discuss the whole process of how the site works, but in order to avoid boredom, I will keep it short.

Basically, you work on farms in exchange for free accommodation and food. The site allows you to find and interact with hosts.
I cheated a little bit, and keyword searched the word “horse”.

Raking weeds for 5 months didn’t sound so appealing, so I filtered those right out. By doing this, I found a wonderful stranger.

His name is Trevor Copland, owner of Cosy Dell Arabians. Little did I know, this stranger would shape my life, and my understanding of horses greatly.

I was scared, nervous, and questioning my decision to go to the farthest possible point from home. This all disappeared seconds after meeting Trevor. He picked me up from the airport smiling and barefoot. Quite honestly, he seemed more like family. Upon arrival, I thought I would be helping at a barn, similar to how the American equine industry works. It was entirely different. The Arabians ran freely, on many hectares of land. I also believed I would be handling, for lack of a better word, “normal” horses. However, these horses were special...

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How you feed hay can have a major influence on your horse’s wellbeing - Full Article

October 20, 2017

The behaviour and welfare of stabled horses can be drastically changed by the way in which they are offered their hay, researchers have found.

The study team in France found that the way in which hay is fed not only had the potential to influence behaviour and welfare, but the horse-human relationship.

Researchers Céline Rochais, Séverine Henry and Martine Hausberger set out to examine how different devices for feeding roughage affected horse behaviour.

Their study involved the observation of 24 geldings and 14 mares at the French National Stud in Saumur, each housed in 3-metre by 3-metre straw-bedded stalls. Each stall had an automatic drinker and each horse received commercial pellets, distributed by an automatic feeder. The horses each received a daily ration of 9 kilograms of hay.

The researchers, writing in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, noted that devices such as hay-nets/bags and “slow-feeders” had been developed in a bid to increase the time horses spent feeding on roughage, mimicking their natural grazing behaviour...


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Why We Love Endurance Riding - Full Article

18 Oct 2017
By Andreia Marques

Endurance riding is not for the faint of heart. But there is so much more about this sport than meets the eye. In this article, we will explore a little about the trails and rewards of endurance horse riding, and what it takes to go on and do it.

Why We Love Endurance Riding
What we know as endurance riding (or endurance horse riding) is new, as a sport, but its roots go far back in time. The sport began in the United States, but the source of inspiration lies elsewhere — European military. In special, the Russian and Polish cavalry.

The history of endurance horse riding
Before it was a sport, it was a means to an end. Ever since humans first domesticated the horse, one of the main purposes behind it was transportation. From nomads travelling commercial routes to the Pony Express, the need to cross long distances is what made horses useful in the first place. Before automobiles and railroads, the horse (and the camel) was the only way to travel long distances on land.

It is because of this that breeds such as the Arabian and the Akhal-Teke exist. In a time before trucks and veterinary science, this ensured the horses could live to ride for a long time in harsh conditions. Desert races still exist in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Like a great many other horseback riding sports, endurance riding as a sport began as a military exercise. Before, it was a way to test the conditions and capabilities of horses for war — an equally dangerous, demanding arena for horses. Then, it began as a challenge among military officials, and eventually between the cavalry of different countries.

In the Americas, several challenges and trail races, some practical and some not, appeared around the 1800s...

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Electrolytes and Muscle Function: What's the Connection? - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 27, 2017

Electrolytes are necessary for normal muscle contraction and relaxation. “When electrolytes become depleted or imbalanced, fatigue and muscle cramps can result,” says Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

Muscles contract with the help of an electrical charge. This contraction, in physiological terms, is called an action potential and is essential to create movement. Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that facilitate action potentials. Electrolytes can carry a positive (cation) or negative (anion) charge, and dissolve in body water to create a solution that can conduct electricity, although the solution itself is electrically neutral. Sodium is the major cation found outside of cells, while potassium is the primary cation found inside of cells, along with calcium and magnesium. Major anions in the body include chloride, bicarbonate, and phosphates. The body tightly regulates the concentration of each electrolyte. Because electrolytes help conduct electrical charges, balance is a key component of proper muscle function.

A horse’s sweat is heavily concentrated with electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium). For this reason, heavily sweating horses lose substantial amounts of electrolytes during prolonged exercise. If losses are great enough, a disruption in the balance of electrical charge both inside and outside of a muscle cell can upset normal contraction and relaxation processes...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hagyard Equine Medical Institute Releases Study on Gastric Ulceration

October 18 2017

Lexington, KY –– Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary facilities in the world, submitted a study that was peer reviewed and published in the March 2017 Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, showing treatment with a polysaccharide blend reduced gastric ulceration in active horses.

Ten horses underwent gastroscopy for diagnosis and scoring of existing ulcers. For the duration of the study, each participant was administered 1 to 2 ounces of a polysaccharide blend. The study reveals that a polysaccharide blend of high-molecular-weight hyaluronan and schizophyllan, a beta-glucan, administered daily for 30 days demonstrates ulcerative healing.

Of the horses treated with the blended therapy, 90% showed complete resolution and/or improvement in ulcerative areas, increased appetite, weight gain, and positive behavioral changes. The study suggests that a polysaccharide blend represents a novel means to enhance gastric healing in the active horse. The study’s long-term results could be impactful to the entire equine community, giving horse owners and veterinarians an all-natural alternative to current therapies.

“Ulcers can be found in as many as 80-100% of horses," said Dr. Nathan Slovis of the McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, "Our objective in this research was to determine whether a natural treatment would help in the healing process. From the data gathered, we were able to determine that horses can be successfully treated with a naturally safe and effective polysaccharide blend of hyaluronan and schizophyllan."

Since its inception in 1876, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute has been at the forefront of equine medicine. Its reputation is built, in part, on a continued effort to increase veterinary knowledge and thereby improve the state-of-the-art treatments and surgeries offered to its diverse equine clientele which represent international breeding operations, world-renowned racehorses as well as performance and pleasure horses.

For more information on this unique polysaccharide blend, call 859-685-3709 or visit

About Hagyard Equine Medical Institute

With more than 50 veterinarians and 141 years behind it, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is the oldest and one of the largest private equine veterinary practices in the world. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, the institute offers a staff with qualifications unparalleled by any single non-university veterinary group in the equine industry, with 13 board certifications in specialty areas of Medicine, Surgery, Critical Care and Theriogenology. The facility, located across the street from the Kentucky Horse Park, boasts superior ambulatory services, the world-renowned Davidson Surgery Center, McGee Medicine and Fertility Centers, Hagyard Laboratory, Hagyard Sports Medicine & Podiatry Center, hyperbaric medicine facilities and equine rescue services. For more information, please visit

Monday, October 16, 2017

Iggy is a Millennial — and other anthropomorphic theories - Full Story

by Patti Stedman | Oct 16, 2017 | Patti's Blog

[Warning: This blog is full of smarm and stereotypes. I won’t apologize for that because, as those who know me in real life would likely confess, I am a wee bit cheeky that way.]

A week or so ago I found myself with a day with no client meetings and a forecast that screamed for an autumn ride.

So off we went to Allegany State Park with Iggy and Sarge, with Richard hoping to get in his last hilly, fast conditioning ride before Fort Valley, and me, it was less about seeking a conditioning goal with Iggy than attempting to find a common ground.

We climbed up Trail 1 together and I sent Richard off to do his own loop, planning to meet up again in an hour or so after a workout that was more in tune with the fitness level and psyche of our mounts.

I’ve only had Iggy about six months. In July, he turtled the Moonlight in Vermont 50. And since then, we’ve hit a stalemate in our relationship, some push/pull which I’m trying to figure out, inclined as I am to believe that horses are in many ways like jigsaw puzzles, some complex and with a million pieces, others designed for toddlers, with primary colors and only a dozen or so pieces.

Yesterday, as we walked along, just the two of us, I decided that our misunderstandings were much like a ‘generation gap...’

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103 Years Ago this Month, America’s Horses and Mules Began their One-Way Journey to the Battlefields of World War One

October 12 2017

Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes Campaign is Remembering Those Animals by Helping Today’s Working Equines

Lexington, Ky. – Oct. 12, 2017 – This year marks the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering World War One. For three years prior to that, America’s horses and mules were being shipped to England and on to France and other countries for the war effort, the first having left the shores of the U.S. 103 years ago this month. Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign is honoring the memory of those American war horses by raising funds to improve the welfare of working horses, donkeys, and mules around the world.

Once purchased for the war effort, America’s horses and mules endured a strenuous journey that included traveling to a seaport and shipping in cargo holds across the Atlantic. After several weeks at sea, the animals were admitted to quarantine upon arriving in England. They were shod and kept at remount stations to recover from their trips overseas before they began their formal training as war horses.

The contributions of equines in World War One were immeasurable, and the number of equine lives lost was just as significant. Equines were a crucial part of the war effort, as they carried soldiers into battle and injured men to safety. Horses also hauled military supplies such as medicine, food, water, ammunition, guns and other necessary resources to the front lines. The horrific smells, sounds, and sights, and the suffering that they endured alongside their soldiers can only be imagined.

Sadly, most of the horses and mules who survived the war were later sold for slaughter or hard labor in the foreign countries where they served. As a result, Dorothy Brooke, the wife of a British Army officer stationed in Cairo, began her lifelong mission to rescue these equine war heroes, and start the organization that is now the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, Brooke.

Today more than 100 million horses, donkeys, and mules in the developing world have similar jobs and suffer similar fates as yesterday’s war horses as they labor to provide a livelihood for 600 million of the world’s poorest people. The majority of these equines experience chronic suffering and early mortality rates. Exhaustion, dehydration, crippling injuries, lameness, and disease take their toll on nearly 80 percent of working equines in the developing world.

Brooke USA’s Horse Heroes campaign, an official Centennial Partner of the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission, will fund equine welfare programs to assist many of those animals and families. To date the campaign has raised nearly $900,000 toward their goal of one million dollars – one dollar in memory of each of America’s horses and mules who served in World War I.

From now through the end of the year, each Horse Heroes donor of $250 or more will receive the book, “Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse,” by General Jack Seely, with illustrations by Sir Alfred Munnings.

For more information, please go to

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Keeping Rodents Out of Your Feed Room - Full Article

By Clair Thunes, PhD
Oct 9, 2017

As an equine nutritionist who visits lots of feed rooms, I come in to contact with my fair share of rodents. At one large facility that backed a stream I came within three feet of several large rats snacking in the feed room. I didn’t seem to bother them at all, and the barn cat who was sunning himself in the doorway seemed to have decided they had him out numbered.

With cold weather coming and native food sources becoming scarce, the attraction of food and bedding provided by our feed and tack rooms makes these unwanted guests almost a given. However, there are several important reasons why you should not accept the presence of these critters in your feed rooms.

The No. 1 reason is disease. Rodents are known to carry several diseases transferable to both horses and humans. Their feces and urine can contaminate feed with diseases such as salmonella, leptospirosis, and trichinosis. Rodents also carry fleas, mites, and ticks...

Read more here:

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Shagya-Arabians Serving Their Country for Over 200 Years

September 29 2017

The Shagya-Arabian was started in 1789 when the Hungarian military set out to develop a new breed of horse that combined the very best of Bedouin Arabians -- elegance, endurance, hardiness, athleticism, temperament, and devotion to their rider -- with larger size, jumping ability, and riding ease to master the rigors and versatility of a cavalry horse. Over the centuries a conscious breeding program and inspections have ensured that the Shagya-Arabians stayed true to their original intent. Two of our PShR Shagya-Arabians demonstrate this commitment and continuity by serving as a mounted police horse and a Calvary mount in a Revolutionary War reenactment.

Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry member Steve Boles started his mare LRC Seredy in Revolutionary War Reenactments as part of the 3td Continental Light Dragoon. When asked how LRC Seredy took to the job Boles commented “I felt she would be a good candidate because of her calm and willing attitude, steadiness, and courage to tackle new challenges. These are traits very true to the Shagya-Arabian breed.” Boles also mentioned that “Seredy has only just begun her new career as a cavalry mount but has shown that she can handle the stress and actually seems to enjoy it. I am excited about how she has taken to the loud gun and cannon fire, the crowds of people watching and moving about the battlefield, and drilling in close contact with other strange horses.”

Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry member Becky McCarthy currently utilizes her horse WineGlass Dominus or “Dommy” as a part of the mounted police auxiliary. Dommy has served for 5 years as part of the auxiliary and has proved his value with crowd control and public relations. McCarthy remembers when the auxiliary was asked to break up a fight at a fairgrounds. “The officers on the ground could not break up the fight due to the number of people and the gathering crowd. My partner and I were able to move the crowd to allow the officers on the ground to do their job. Dommy was a true rock star and was very steady handling the crowd.” McCarthy shares that “the public respects the size of the horse and most want to pet them which is great public relations. Dommy always stands like a rock even with children climbing all over and under him.”

When asked what he thought made the Shagya-Arabian still the perfect horse for the job Boles stated that “the Shagya-Arabian has stamina, heart, and movement for this type of work. Their bodies are very durable with size and bone. They handle new things with intelligence. They are gentle in stressful situations and learn quickly. The Shagya-Arabian has proven to me they are a talented and delightful horse to work with in whatever you choose to do.” McCarthy has similar sentiments and states that “Dommy has an amazing temperament and truly does his best no matter what I ask of him. Shagya-Arabians have good size for this type of work. They have super minds and always try to do what the rider is asking.”

About Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry

The Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry was established to ensure the integrity and legacy of the Shagya-Arabian bred horses in North America. To accomplish these goals the organization holds regular breed inspections and utilizes performance testing in compliance with internationally established criteria for all horses in the registry. For more information on the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry and our horses please visit our website

For More Information and Photos
Contact: Nicole Mauser-Storer

Sunday, October 01, 2017

How Horse Personality Impacts Learning - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Sep 21, 2017

When your horse responds to your cues, is it because he knows a reward is coming afterward (like a treat or a release of pressure)? Or is it because he recognizes the cue and knows that when he gets that cue, he’s just supposed to respond with a certain action?

This might sound like cognition nit-picking, but it’s actually a very important question when it comes to the way your horse learns. The first case is what scientists call “goal-directed” learning—it means horses will adjust their actions according to whether that reward keeps coming regularly. The second case is called “habit-directed” learning. Horses that tend toward habit-directed learning are more likely to just keep doing what they’ve been taught to do, regardless of whether that reward keeps coming...

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Gateshead firm Glushu pioneers nail-free horseshoes and sees big sales in US - Full Article

The Glushu revolutionises the centuries-old practice of horse shoeing, by swapping nails for glue

13:48, 28 SEP 2017

A Gateshead equestrian firm is galloping towards huge sales growth thanks to orders coming from thousands of miles away in America’s cowboy country.

GluShu has invented plastic coated, slip-on horseshoes which revolutionise the centuries-old practice of horse shoeing by swapping nails for glue.

Design engineer John Wright initially made the GluShus for horses with damaged hooves in 2015 but their popularity has grown around the world, opening up new opportunities.

Now the firm is set to see sales double this year, on the back of latest success in the US, where the company has signed a deal with a Florida-based distributor and formed a working relationship with renowned equestrian institution, the Kentucky Horseshoeing School...

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Assessing curcumin in horses - Full Article

It is said that chicken tikka masala is now Great Britain’s favourite dish. If so, perhaps we should anticipate an improvement in public health, given the supposed health-giving properties of turmeric. Turmeric, a spice long used in Asian cooking, also has an impressive pedigree of medicinal uses.

Numerous laboratory studies have suggested that turmeric (or more specifically curcumin, an active constituent) has not only anti-inflammatory properties, but antimicrobial, wound healing, and anti-parasitic properties as well.

It is becoming fashionable to administer supplements containing curcumin to horses, although there has been little research into its effect on horses.

Samantha Wuest and colleagues in the Department of Animal Science, Food & Nutrition, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL conducted a study to evaluate some of the effects of curcumin in horses. The work is reported in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science...

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

What's the Ideal Endurance Horse Conformation? - Full Article

Endurance competitor Dr. Michelle Roush explains what to look for in endurance horse conformation.


Question: I really enjoy your monthly Conformation Clinic column. The information is very useful when I work with and care for sporthorses, but I'd also like to know what endurance horse conformation and qualities I should look for when selecting a mount. Can you offer any suggestions?

Hat Trick LA is an example of an endurance horse with ideal conformation for the sport. The 10-year-old Arabian gelding with 600 lifetime American Endurance Ride Conference miles "is standing a little uphill in this photo, so it looks like he's leaning forward. On flat ground, he is quite square," says Dr. Roush. "I cannot fault his conformation. I might wish for his legs to be a tad longer, but that's splitting hairs." | Michelle Roush, DVM

Answer: In endurance, beauty is as beauty does. Horse conformation traits rewarded in the show-hunter ring for their aesthetic value mean nothing in endurance if they don't help the horse get down the trail. Arabians and part-?Arabians dominate the sport?for a variety of reasons I'll explain later?but I've seen horses of all shapes and sizes succeed in the sport. Most of them prove the rule that "form is function": Structurally correct horses are more likely to stay sound over the many miles of repetitive motion and concussion that the sport entails. Here are the most important structural qualities to look for.

1. Balance. All of the horse's body parts should flow together. His weight should be evenly distributed from front to back and top to bottom. The hindquarters, for example, should not be disproportionately larger than the shoulders?or vice versa. Nor should the front end be higher or lower than the hind end. The bone thickness should be consistent throughout the horse, as well. A thick-bodied horse supported by toothpick legs is going to get in trouble...

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